Which mac do you use? Design

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by R-41157, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. R-41157 macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Under Your Bed . . .
    I figured there would be a few professional graphic designers etc in this section of the forum and I was just wondering if you used/recommend using a macbook or macbook pro for designing. I need to make the switch to Mac and I am looking at both these options. The big factor for me is graphics more than screen size, is the integrated graphics on the macbook just not good enough to get a good feel for how colours will look in the real world? I am in my first year at uni so I am by no means a pro but I am certainly moving on from being a hobbiest!

    Any comments/opinions/advice would be greatly recieved! Cheers in advance!
  2. bntz313 macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2007
    I'm a student/freelance graphic designer and I use a 17" MBP 2.33ghz 3gb ram I use it for photoshop, illustrator, etc. It never slows down!!!

    If you got the money I would for sure go for the MBP over the MB, just in case you do need the extra power!
  3. R-41157 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Under Your Bed . . .

    How do you find the 17" in terms of portability??

    I could afford one, but I dont want to buy £1500 worth of MBP to find an update comes out, nor do I want to risk waiting months on end for no update, or a dissapointing update so considered the macbook as a good intermediary until October time when I could get a MBP that will definately have been updated. If im not careful I will end up just typing what im thinking again! ha
  4. R-41157 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Under Your Bed . . .
    Just to add to this actually, if I was to get the macbook I would beable to afford a 20" or 23" apple cinema display for home use. So it really does come down to whether the graphics card in the MBP is really worth that money increase at this stage in my degree/career???
  5. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2003
    Between a rock and a midget
    the graphics card will actually not effect you at all. Non of the adobe design programs use it for anything particularly. Your correct color will come down to you being able to profile your monitor and understand color profiles and caibration, not your graphics card. The MacBook would serve you fine with an external display. The only issue with the MacBook is the glossy screen, which doesn't produce accurate colors, but would be fine for about 90% of your work, just make sure you recheck everything on your ACD before thinking it's done.

  6. R-41157 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Under Your Bed . . .
    Oh right! Thanks for explaining that to me! I quite liked the display on the macbook in the store today, and it would be fine for doing work at uni as it would be damn site better than the machines the uni have!

    I would love a MBP but I just get the feeling im going to get tired of waiting, buy one, then be dissapointed a week later when an update comes out! But with a macbook and ACD I think I would be quite satisfied for quite some time!
  7. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    A MBP should be fine.

    Unless you are dealing with large amounts of video. Then HD space won't be enough. should run Photoshop & illustrator fine.
  8. jerryrock macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2007
    Amsterdam, NY
    Neither option is ideal for graphic design. The screen size is too restrictive and difficult to calibrate. I would recommend an iMac or MacPro. You will learn that the need for memory and hard drive space becomes increasingly apparent. I started out with an iMac and graduated to a MacPro last summer, with a 20" Wacom Cintiq as my latest acquisition.
  9. bntz313 macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2007
    The 17'' MBP is sometimes a bit big, but then again I don't take it everyday to class. I bought an Refurbished MBP, cause I don't need the latest and greatest. My school still use's dual G5's with most having 1gb of ram and there still not that slow although I think my MBP is faster. If you have the money to spend then by all means do what ever you like. But if you come from low income(like me) than it's best to get the best for your money.

    As for the MPB not being good for graphic design I think that is not true. My MBP has never let me down, and every project I do is 300 dpi and I start BIG and resize later. I have it hooked up to an wacom 6x8 tablet and it rocks. I even messed around with After Effects alittle on it and it didn't slow down too much.

    If you need the newest thing...well with computers nothing is ever the newest and greatest with how fast they come up with updates. I like to seem more time designing than thinking about if I have the latest computer.

    I could sit here and tell you that you should do this or that..but when it comes down to it you'll do what you want!
  10. funkybrenner macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    I'm using an old G5 iMac and it's treated me well through all the heavy lifting I make it do. But the new iMacs come with glossy screens, which in my opinion are unacceptable for graphic design (or any profession where color matters). when the time comes to upgrade, it's going to be a mac pro for me.
  11. rkriheli macrumors member


    Dec 11, 2002
    new york, ny
    For a long time I was a powermac user - going from a 7600 to a G3 to a G4 to a G5 tower machines in my decade of graphic design. i recently sold my g5 (and 23" display) in favor of an iMac. This was something I was vehemently against for years citing that the consumer machines were not good enough for graphic design, but I gotta tell you guys -- I feel like I owe the whole iMac line an apology.

    This machine is great. I do agree that working with precise colors could be an issue, but if you are aware of the saturation levels, you can use your instinct to follow up (or do what I do, and check your work on other screens with a Matte surface or CRT. I use my Macbook Pro for this purpose). But this is speaking on the web side of the coin rather than print. For print design, an iMac might not cut it. Otherwise, this machine is a beast.

    That said, I wholly endorse the 24" Aluminum iMac (with bumped up ram of course). :apple:
  12. barijazz macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    Well if you are willing to spend the money for a computer now what makes it less valuable tommorow? The MBP has a superior graphics card no doubt. As well as a faster processor and the option of an HD screen.
  13. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
  14. tsd macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2007
    Greensboro, NC

    I feel obliged to voice dissent on the opinions in this thread that glossy LCD screens are unsuitable for color-critical work. This is a debate that's been visited and revisited all over the web, with valid points on both sides. I felt it necessary in light of the Original Poster's experience that he hear the other side of the story (if only briefly). So, for the record, I and others with me actually believe that a glossy LCD has the potential for more accurate color (when calibrated) than a matte LCD.

    Please don't misunderstand this as an attempt to hijack this thread, or to start any discussion on glossy vs. matte LCDs! I'm keenly aware of the points from both sides; again, I just wanted to make the OP aware that there IS a debate on that.

  15. deathbyart macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2008
    I am on a 1.66 Core Duo mini with 2 gigs of ram. The Adobe programs run just fine, wish I could say the same for iTunes though.. :rolleyes:

    I was debating on Core2duo upgrade but my main lifeblood is Illustrator and it runs great.
  16. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Oh... they're portable. Just irritating to others when their owners expect others to move their stuff on a Pendolino to accommodate their behemoth.
  17. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    In my opinion screen space is almost more important for an efficient work flow than processing power. You shouldn't apply 10 layers of gradients and 5 lens flares on one business card anyway. So you might be better of with a macbook + 23-24" screen for the same money as a mbp. It will easily last you through your studies and the small laptop will provide you with great portability and you have a real big screen at home for heavy work.
  18. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    They have me on a Dell Optiplex 745 at work so none of you can complain :p

    That said, I got a 15" Powerbook 1Ghz when I went to college. Now I have a Macbook 2Ghz and it is a ton faster. I wouldn't worry about it not being fast enough, I'd take a Powermac G4 here at work over this Dell. Maybe then we could send things to Print without needing 5 proofs :rolleyes:
  19. lartius macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2007
    Smog central
    My design machine

    I've been running a Dual 1.8GHz machine with 2GB of RAM for the past few years. Got Leopard loaded with CS3 and a 20" cinema display. As smooth as everything runs, I can't wait until the company's budget allows for an upgrade to a MacPro!
  20. adamzx3 macrumors regular


    Sep 8, 2007
    NE Ohio
    Well I am sorta in the same boat. I just graduated from a design school in NYC and now starting to freelance, and started out with a Macbook Pro 2ghz, and upgraded to 2GB of ram. While this was great for being portable, I found myself doing 90% of my work at home connected to an LCD and keyboard and Wacom. The main problem I had was the MBP would overheat, and become unstable. It was plenty fast for doing design related stuff. In photoshop a 2pg 300dpi spread was slippery smooth on CS3.

    I ended up selling the laptop for $1600 and buying a MacPro 2.66 and upgraded to 5gb of ram. It smokes now and is more than enough for my uses. And works more efficiently (and cooler!) than the MBP. I find this better for my needs, but I hate not being able to go to the coffee shop and work....not a biggie though.

    You will not want to trust your laptops LCD for a softproof before press, even in a CMYK colorspace there was a huge differance in color and tonal depth comparing my matte MBP (15") vs my Eizo Coloredge CE (which cost almost as much as the MBP). Even if your just printing out 11x14's for your folio, it can get expensive to make a mistake at print. I also tried to cheap out with an acer 24" lcd and had to sell it weeks after, while it was better than the laptop it just wasn't cutting it for softproofing. I would try and get set up with a 20" cinema display, get a refurb if you have to (and the quality might be better!). While I don't like the consistancy of the cinema displays, a good one will do just fine. Just make sure to hardware calibrate it with something intermediate like the Pantone eye-one LT or the cheaper spyder calibrators. (the cheap huey's didn't impress me, dunno about the new "pro" ones) I use the Pantone Eye-One LT and it works great, adjust's Kelven temp, gamma, lcd brightness (work with dim color corrected lighting if you can) and with updates allows you to monitor ambient light brightness/temp.

    While the MBP is faster in more way than just the video card, the Macbook will probably last you for right now, when you really need the extra power later it will be time to upgrade anyway. I would suggest that you don't bury yourself in debt to have all the newest gadgets, it's tempting I know....but when it comes down to it, is waiting 2-3 more seconds to run that filter worth the extra $800-$1000? nope. Now your display is much more important for your field of work. While I sometimes regret going into deeper into debt with it...it's nice but a cinema display would do just fine for design, though I won't have to upgrade for 5+ years with the 24" Eizo so theres a tradeoff I guess.

    And I know I wrote a book but in Design/Print....correct color is everything, a good monitor and hardware calibration setup and lastly correct color managment workflow is a must (PM me if you need help with that)

    From a design student to another this is my list of what you should buy (and even though it's easy to spend your money, i'm making a list of what I would do over again and I don't have money to burn) Also student discounts can be very close to refurb prices for cheaper stuff.

    Macbook 2ghz, upgrade to 2-3GB of ram, Omni is what I use
    20" Cinema display (23" is nice for the $240 extra if you have it)
    Pantone Eye-One LT
    Adobe CS3 Design Suite
    Suitcase Fusion (for font management)
    Wacom Tablet (Graphires are great starters)

    If you don't need the mobility, there's 2.66 MP's going for $1500-1700, thats an awefull lot of power that won't need updated for awhile.

    Some links that might help ya:
    Pantone Eye-One LT $139
    Cinema Refurb: $499
  21. klymr macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2007
    My MBP goes to school and work with me nearly everyday. I toss it in my neoprene sleeve and then into my backpack and head out the door. I only have two books for my classes, one of 88 pages, the other at 176 pages, so I am not worried about the weight. It's honestly not as bad as I thought it would be in terms of portability.
  22. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
  23. toughshot macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2008
    While I am a student I use our computer labs which have just acquired new 24" iMacs. They are the White Core 2 Duo iMacs, they were purchased before the aluminum ones were released. As a freelancer, I have been using a Dell Inspiron 6000 notebook. Currently I am looking for a powerbook/iMac because I have better experiences with designing on macs. Seems to be smoother and my Dell freezes sometimes where the mac hasn't failed me yet.
  24. miguel mouse! macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2008
    i'm a graphic design student and i use my 12" powerbook at school and at home i hook it up to my 16" display (i'm like 4 years behind, lol). sometimes,i even use my powerbook at my design internship. seems to work okay for just print and technical drawings.

    ...but hopefully this tuesday or next i can think about getting a 17" MBP! :D
  25. Z.Beeblebrox macrumors regular


    Nov 27, 2007
    NJ / NYC
    As a student I used an iMac, which was perfect for school assignments and such. But moving into the real world where I need to be able to work fluidly and effortlessly, I use a MacPro (formerly a G4). The power and memory are required for the amount of work I perform and the amount of multi-tasking needed in a design-based career. Also, the precision of color accuracy increases from laptop to MacPro. Color accuracy is possible with laptops but not the best and not the easiest.

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